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New York City Center’s Evita is Rainbow High

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I have been following the career of Solea Pfeiffer ever since I saw the video of the Hollywood Bowl production of West Side Story. Fresh out of college Ms. Pfeiffer had the “it” factor. Now playing the role of Eva Perón in The New York City Center revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita, Ms. Pfeiffer, proves she is someone to watch.

Also hitting the right notes is Jason Gotay, as Che. His narration of the story is clear and concise and he becomes the every man voice of the people.

Jason Gotay and Solea Pfeiffer in Evita at New York City Center.
Jason Gotay, Solea Pfeiffer photo by Joan Marcus

Sammi Cannold’s production, is sometimes strange in the fact that he uses two actors to play Eva. Nineteen-year-old Maia Reficco plays the young Eva who dreams of the big city and uses her charms to capture the over the hill slimy tango singer Magaldi (Philip Hernández). Pfeiffer doesn’t begin her ascent until the middle of “Good Night and Thank-you” and those amazing notes effortlessly flow. When she meets Colonel Juan Perón (Enrique Acevedo), Eva knows she has met her match. The aristocracy look down on her, the military despises her, but the descamisados (common people) love her. As her body breaks down Eva, has finally lost the game.

=Jason Gotay, Solea Pfeiffer photo by Joan Marcus

Having dual Eva’s means her younger self is always dictating her moves. It is the sexual assaults that drive her, yet it is her sexuality she uses to get what she wants.

Jason Sherwood’s set of six tieres of roses is used in a multiple of ways and looks stunning with the lighting by Bradley King.

“I came from the people, they need to adore me, so Christian Dior me from my head to my toes,” and is this production they do thanks to Alejo Vietti.

Emily Maltby and Valeria Solomonoff’s Latin choreography is effective, especially with the male chorus.

Pfeiffer’s Eva is cold, calculating and ruthless. She has an agenda, a drive and we see it radiating off her, yet she manages to show a vulnerability that is heartbreaking. The show even added “You Must Love Me” from the movie version since Pfeiffer conquers this score with panache. I want to see more of Gotay, who is a perfect match for Pfeiffer. Ms Reficco needs to learn how to enunciate.

Evita, is as strong as ever and if this production does make it to Broadway it will make a star out of Pfeiffer.

Evita: New York City Center, 131 W 55th St. until the 24th.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Events

Inside 36th Annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic Honoring Howard Fensterman

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The 36th Annual Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic took place at the Old Westbury Golf & Country Club, Long Island, NY. The event’s host, Geraldo Rivera, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist kicked off the golf classic with a brunch before the golfers hit the course at noon.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and town officials from West Babylon came together to proclaim the day of the event as “Geraldo Rivera Day”.  In addition, Geraldo was presented with a commemorative jersey from West Babylon High School and memento’s crafted by children participating in the Life’s WORC program.

This year’s event honored Howard Fensterman, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Abrams Fensterman, LLP as well as raised funds in support of Life’s WORC and their mission of making a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Notable attendees included: Geraldo Rivera, Erica Rvera, Howard Fensterman, Bill O’Reilly, Bruce Blakeman, Victoria Schneps, Sean Hannity (Virtual).

For decades, the groundbreaking Golf Classic and other high-profile events have helped bring hope and light to this once-marginalized population. The Life’s WORC team has been together since Geraldo’s critically acclaimed series exposing the deplorable conditions at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island in January 1972, a half century ago.

Super-stars like John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, John Denver, and the Allman Brothers Band have all contributed with their talent and generosity. Like their concerts, charity boxing matches filled Madison Square Garden and brought thousands in celebration in Central Park. These events, including for the last 34 years the Geraldo Rivera Golf Classic, have raised millions and helped improve the lives of countless thousands.

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Events

Tribeca Festival Gears Up

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The Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, announced the 2024 jury members who will select winning projects in the film, games, and audio storytelling sections. The Festival has 17 competition categories in which jurors will honor winning storytellers and creators with artistic awards.

This year’s festival jury includes a diverse roster of groundbreaking filmmakers, award-winning actors, celebrated multi-hyphenate producers, and leaders from entertainment, including David O. Russell, Selma Blair, Asghar Farhadi, Kim Cattrall, Chinonye Chukwu, Nisha Pahuja, Nikyatu Jusu, Sheila Nevins, Francesca Scorsese, Clara McGregor, and more. In addition to the awards in competition categories, the Nora Ephron Award, created to honor the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer, will be presented.

“We are thrilled to once again welcome a diverse group of remarkable filmmakers, creatives and industry players as jurors for the 2024 Tribeca Festival,” said Executive Vice President at Tribeca Enterprises Nancy Lefkowitz. “We look forward to their wide-ranging perspectives across storytelling genres and mediums coming together to honor the extraordinary group of submissions this year.”

More than 30 industry leaders were selected to honor feature-length and short film categories, composed of narrative and documentary films. Juries have also been established to honor the best work in games, as well as submissions in Tribeca’s returning audio storytelling category.

The winning films, projects, filmmakers, storytellers, and actors in each category will be announced at the Tribeca Festival ceremony on June 13.

 

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Dance

New York City Center Announces Their 2024 – 2025 Season

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New York City Center ‘s programing is a series of dance, musical theater, and community events that will have everyone and their friends coming back to see it all.

FALL 2024

New York City Center’s 2024 – 2025 Season opens with the Fall for Dance Festival from September 18 through 29. An essential part of New York’s fall dance season, this annual showcase features an eclectic array of international dance artists and companies in five unique programs. In keeping with City Center’s mission of accessibility, all tickets for Fall for Dance remain at $20 (plus $10 in fees). Highlights on the 2024 line-up include Boston Ballet, Italy’s CCN/Aterballetto (FFD debut), Dutch National Ballet,Chicago’s M.A.D.D. Rhythms, New York-based collective Roderick George | kNoname Artist, and New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns.

On October 30, the Annual Gala Presentation Ragtime opens with a benefit performance followed by a gala dinner at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. Led by Tony-nominee and Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet with Music Director James Moore, Ragtime follows three fictional families in pursuit of the American Dream: Black pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr. (Joshua Henry) and his sweetheart Sarah; Latvian immigrant Tateh (Brandon Uranowitz) along with his Little Girl; and a wealthy white family led by Mother (Caissie Levy). This sweeping, powerful musical adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s novel of the same name with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and a book by Terrence McNally won four Tony Awards in 1998. Presented in a special two-week run through November 10, funds raised by all 14 performances allow City Center to continue to expand access to the performing arts by subsidizing education programs and affordable tickets throughout the year.

Award-winning tap dance artist Michelle Dorrance returns to City Center with her Company in a joyful program featuring live music from November 22 through 24. Hailed for their ingenuity and expanding the boundaries of tap dance while also honoring its roots, Dorrance Dance has been a Fall for Dance favorite since 2013.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company and a beloved cultural ambassador, returns December 4 – January 5 for a five-week holiday season celebrating a lineage and legacy that continues to open doors and break new ground. Ailey’s extraordinary dancers will bring to life world premieres and new productions by a number of choreographers for whom Alvin Aileypaved the way, including the 25th anniversary return of Ronald K. Brown’s blockbuster Grace, a rapturous work in which the secular and sacred meet, connecting African and American dance.

Winter | Spring 2025

Led by Music Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Artistic Director Lear deBessonet, and Creative Producing Director Clint Ramos, the Tony-honored Encores! series returns in 2025 with a season of musical theater revivals to captivate both seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The series opens with Urinetown from February 5 through 16. Directed by Teddy Bergman with Encores! Music Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, this side-splitting satire takes place in a dystopian city on the brink of dehydration where all citizens must pay a fee for “The Privilege to Pee” at one of the public facilities controlled by a selfish tycoon. With an incisive and clever score by Tony winner Mark Hollmann, fourth-wall-breaking humor by Hollman and Tony winner Greg Kotis, and a plot of thrilling twists and turns, Urinetown examines the darkest dilemmas of humanity—skewering everything from capitalism to environmental activism with irreverent charm and razor-sharp wit.

The long-awaited Love Life takes the City Center stage March 26 through 30. Originally scheduled as part of the 2019 – 2020 season, the performances were cancelled at the start of the Covid-19 shutdown. The only collaboration between Kurt Weill and Alan Jay Lerner, this rarely staged 1948 musical depicts a love story that takes place over 200 years of American history, seen through the eyes of a family who never ages. Directed by Tony winner Victoria Clark with Guest Music Director Rob Berman, the musicalexplores the epic and intimate aspects of a marriage through a juxtaposition of heartfelt scenes and satirical vaudeville acts. Considered by some to be the first concept musical, Love Life is an inspiration for musical theater favorites such as Cabaret, Chicago, and Company.

Closing out the 2025 Encores! series from April 30 through May 11 is The Wild Party. With music and lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa and book by LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe, The Wild Party brings Joseph Moncure March’s notorious poem to life in this vivid musical adaptation. What happens when a night of debauchery leads to a morning of sobering truths? Directed by Saheem Ali with Encores! Music Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, this “dangerous, seedy, fantastic” (The Observer) gin-soaked party is full of jazz-age indulgence and Vaudeville stars letting loose off-the-clock.

Spring 2025 Dance

For more than 20 years, Flamenco Festival has brought Spain’s greatest flamenco dancers and musicians to City Center. This “beloved, yearly spectacle” (Time Out) returns from March 6 through 9 with a line-up that includes the “visionary, magisterial dancer” (The Guardian) Eva Yerbabuena, and more to be announced.

The legendary Twyla Tharp also returns from March 12 through 16 celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Twyla Tharp Dance with a program of two New York premieres. Set to Beethoven’s masterpiece of the same name, the Olivier-nominated Diabelli Variations makes visible the elegant humor and depth of the composer’s layered genius as Tharp’s movement effortlessly shifts from ballet to jazz, to modern, and even unexpected bits of social dance, accompanied by live piano. Combined with a new work set to a reimagining of Philip Glass’s iconic Aguas da Amazonia, arranged and performed live on a collection of custom-designed instruments by Third Coast Percussion, these two premiere works guarantee an evening of stellar dancing and phenomenal musicianship.

Celebrated New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns has a long artistic relationship with City Center including eight performances in the Fall for Dance Festival, starring in Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, and making her musical theater debut in Encores! I Married an Angel as part of the 75th Anniversary Season (2018 – 2019). This season, Mearns makes her curatorial debut as part of the ongoing Artists at the Center series. From April 3 through 5, Mearns expands the boundaries of the balletic form as both a dancer and curator in this annual series.

Bringing their bold vision for the world of classical ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem returns April 10 through 13 with an exciting season of new works and fan favorites. And from May 29 through June 1, the nation’s largest Latinx cultural organization Ballet Hispánico returns with a gala performance, their signature En Familia/Family Matinee, and CARMEN.maquia. Choreographed by Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, CARMEN.maquia is a bold and electrifying reimagining of Bizet’s timeless tale with costumes by fashion designer David DelfÍn and set designed by Luis Crespo.

Studio 5

The Studio 5 series of conversations and performances offer an opportunity to hear from today’s great dance artists in the intimate setting of City Center’s historic studios, moderated by leading scholars and writers in the dance world. Events include 80 Years of Fancy Free (Nov 25), George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Dec 9), Celebrating Black History Month | Street Dance Edition (Feb 24) with Ephrat Asherie and Adesola Osakalumi, and Sara Mearns | Artist at the Center (Mar 17). Select Studio 5 programs will again be offered as on-demand, live-streamed events this season.

Education & Community Engagement

City Center’s Education & Community Engagement expanding programs provide pathways to and through the arts for thousands of students and New Yorkers across the city with workshops, residencies, performances, apprenticeships, and high school externships. The Lynne & Richard Pasculano Student Matinees provide access to over 10,000 students, offering subsidized tickets to performances. Student matinees can be combined with In-School Workshops or Residencies that enrich students’ learning experience, helping them to prepare and reflect on the performance. Student Matinees for the 2024 – 2025 Season include Ragtime on November 7 (Grades 6 – 12), Dorrance Dance on November 22 (Grades 3 – 12), Ailey II on December 10 and 12 (Grades 3 – 12), Encores! Urinetown on February 13 (Grades 6 – 12), and Ballet Hispánico on May 3 (Grades 3 – 12). For more information on attending a Lynne & Richard Pasculano Student Matinee, email Education@NYCityCenter.org or call 212.763.1221.

City Center Community Nights build common bonds around the power of performance. In a new format for the 2024 – 2025 season, these events will be held post-performance with concessions remaining open, inviting even more audience members to take part. Community Nights include Ragtime on Friday November 8; Encores! Urinetown on Friday, February 14; Flamenco Festival on Friday, March 7; and Encores! The Wild Party on Friday, May 9. Performances with ASL Interpretation will be held Thursday, November 7 (Ragtime); Thursday, February 13 (Encores! Urinetown); Sunday, March 30 at 2pm (Encores! Love Life); and Thursday, May 8 at 7:30pm (Encores! The Wild Party). And Dorrance Danceincludes Family Friendly Matinees on Saturday, November 23 at 2pm, and Sunday, November 24 at 2pm.

Tickets for the Annual Gala Presentation Ragtime go on sale at noon on May 16 to members and May 23 to the general public. Dorrance Dance and the Winter/Spring dance season go on sale to members on August 20 and to the general public on August 22. Fall for Dance Festival tickets are on sale Sunday, August 25 at 11am, with all tickets remaining at $20 (plus $10 in fees).  Tickets for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater go on sale September 10 to the general public.

Current subscribers may renew their Encores! subscriptions now through June 28. New Encores! subscriptions for members are available starting August 6 and for the general public starting August 20. Subscriptions may be purchased for the first week of two-week engagements. Encores! single tickets go on sale to members October 1 and to the general public on October 8.

Tickets can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling 212.581.1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. Access City Center Club is available to those 38 years of age and under and offers a limited number of $28 tickets (fees included) to City Center productions. For more information and to sign up, visit NYCityCenter.org/Access. New York City Center is located at 131 W 55th St between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

Casting and programming subject to change.

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Entertainment

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents tick, tick…Boom!

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“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 now in the conference room at the Hotel Edison.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Director Eric Rosen, Andy Mientus and Krystina Alabado about tick, tick…Boom! at The Cape Playhouse opening this summer June 5 – 15.

We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

I am so grateful to my guests Director Eric Rosen, Andy Mientus and Krystina Alabado.

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

We are so proud and thrilled that Variety Entertainment News just named us one of Summer’s Best Picks in the category of Best Television, Radio, PodcastsThe company we are in, has made us so humbled, grateful and motivated to continue.

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

 

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Celebrity

Items From Taylor Swift, Amy Winehouse and Elvis to be Auctioned Off at Kruse GWS Auctions

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The personal Bible Elvis had on his nightstand the night he died with his favorite passages underlined, fashion worn by Taylor Swift and Amy Winehouse, and luxury items from Bibi and Eric Hilton of the famed hotel family are big draws for this May 25th megawattage event from Kruse GWS Auctions.

Before going on stage, Elvis often would read the Bible to calm his nerves and pray for a good show. The Bible, embossed with Elvis Aaron Presley in gold, comes with a handwritten letter from his cousin Patsy, who was given the book by the Elvis’ dad Vernon when they were packing up his son’s belongings at Graceland.

Five years into his illustrious career and already insanely popular, Elvis was drafted into the US Army and the auction will feature a set of the fatigues he wore, replete with his name on front and original sleeve patches. Serving from March 1958 to March 1960, the megastar was offered special treatment but declined, opting instead to be treated like a regular G.I Joe. Though a brief interruption in his music career, his military service had a huge impact on his personal life as he would meet future wife Priscilla, whose stepfather was stationed near where Elvis served in Germany.

Swifties are sure to flock to the gorgeous dresses up for auction that Taylor has been photographed wearing. One is a Sure Fire Coral Dress the pop star wore during an “Access Hollywood” interview on April 29, 2015, promoting her 1989 World Tour. Crafted by the esteemed fashion label Three Floor, the dress’s coral hue perfectly complements Taylor Swift’s radiant personality. The other is a floral peach zip dress worn backstage during her milestone Speak Now World Tour (2011-2012).

Amy Winehouse’s life was cut short but her musical legacy lives on. The auction is selling the black stretch cotton tube top and Tina Kalivas fitted peplum skirt the British singer-songwriter wore when she appeared via satellite from London on the 50th annual Grammy Awards in 2008 and the same outfit is featured in the buzzy new film “Back to Black” about Winehouse’s life. A monumental moment in her career, she won five awards, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night.

Amy Winehouse dress

“No one on the planet is hotter than Taylor Swift, and Amy Winehouse is having her moment with the release of the biopic “Back to Black,” says Brigitte Kruse, founder of Kruse GWS Auctions. “Plus, there’s been a scarcity of new Presley items up for auction, but Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” film has re-energized the marketplace.”

Elvis’s Diamond Ring

When it comes to memorabilia from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Kruse reigns, having previously sold hisengine-less private jet for half a million. Among the handful of women at the top of the global multi-billion dollar auction industry, she has sold an astounding $4.2 billion in assets and was the first woman auctioneer to set a Guinness World Record.

Taylor Swift backstage dress

While stationed in Germany, Elvis–looking to get away from media attention—took a two-week “secret” vacation in 1959, staying at a lakeside resort area. At a local beer garden, he signed a chair, which is available for bidding and comes with documentation and holiday photos.

Taylor Swift backstage dress

For fans of the rock star’s more flamboyant sartorial looks, there’s a custom mink and leather coat that he loved and wore and a pair of his cult classic Neostyle Nautic sunglasses with a 14k gold TCB logo worn during the filming of “Elvis on Tour.”

What would an Elvis-oriented auction be without a little bling? The sale includes a 6.00ct black star sapphire, diamond and 14K gold ring, a rather substantial diamond ring highlighted by its intricate beveled design and ornate texture, and his well-known 14K yellow gold ring, with a 1929 Indian Head $2.50 gold coin.

Perhaps more unusual though, is an Elvis-designed watch, (one of perhaps two dozen) given to his closest friends. It features a Star of David intertwined with a Christian cross and photos show him wearing one of these customized time pieces. And a treat for rat-pack fans: two pieces Elvis gifted to entertainer, friend and Vegas regular Sammy Davis Jr.,–a gold claw pendant with EP initials and a gold lion at the tip, and a 14K Yellow Gold TCB Necklace, the logo he created with former wife Priscilla. And, music fans will want to take advantage of the opportunity to get one of his personal guitars, a Guild D-40 sunburst acoustic model and accompanying hard case.

Hilton Emerald Ring

Bibi and Eric Hilton—yes, they’re Paris’s great aunt and uncle—were indeed hotel royalty. Eric was the former Vice Chairman of the Hilton Hotels Corporation and as a longtime resident of Las Vegas active in a variety of local philanthropic endeavors. His wife Bibi traveled the world as a goodwill ambassadress for the hotel chain, rubbing shoulders with the who’s who of entertainment, fashion, business, and government, working alongside her husband to ensure the Hilton brand rose to the internationally iconic status it enjoys today.

Hilton Engagement Ring

Eric booked Elvis for the Vegas Hilton and he still holds the record for the longest running residency. The auction pays homage to Sin City’s main industry with Hilton’s set of limited edition solid 18K gold poker chips emblematic of the city’s illustrious gaming history. The 5 chips—in $25,000, $5,000, $1000, $500, and $100 denominations—were minted solely for the Hilton Entertainment Family Caesar’s Palace Board of Directors.

The estate’s jewelry offerings–from fun faux to fine and fab–include several truly outstanding pieces. Romantics will appreciate the lovely engagement ring that Eric Hilton gave to his soon-to-be wife Bibi. This 18K gold ring was custom made and designed by the couple, and features a brilliant use of fiery white diamonds, embellished with vivid red rubies. Another gorgeous ring crafted in 14k gold boasts a stunning 11.20ct pear cut emerald surrounded by 1.30ctw brilliant round cut fiery white diamonds.

Additionally, the sale contains several exquisite emeralds. One is a pendant crafted in 14k yellow gold and boasts a spectacular 25.72ct emerald cut emerald that exhibits a vibrant lush green color that only the finest display and is surrounded by 2.75ctw brilliant round cut diamonds. There’s also a 14k gold ring distinguished by an impressive 11.20ct pear cut emerald center.

Live bidding begins on May 25th at 7am PT at bid.gwsauctions.com. All Presley pieces come with detailed letter of provenance and the Hilton items with a letter of appreciation signed by the estate executor. Pre-bidding is also available on the website now.

Click here for link to entire catalogue of auction items with descriptions

Kruse GWS Inc. is the world-record breaking auction house specializing in Entertainment Memorabilia, Fine Jewelry, Master Timepieces, Royal Artifacts, Real Estate, Luxury Automobiles, Whiskey/Spirits, NFTs and NFT appraisals. Founder Dame Brigitte Kruse is the first auctioneer to be knighted by a Royal Family, the first female auctioneer to set a Guinness World Record and is a member of the Forbes Los Angeles Business Council. The auction house continues to be featured in world-wide press. Brigitte Kruse built the world’s first NFT marketplace with a live auction feature. The globally respected auction house has been featured around the world for sales of such notable items as Elvis Presley’s personal jet, Marilyn Monroe’s famous black dress, Marlon Brando’s historic Rolex watch, Italian Renaissance philosopher Machiavelli’s estate in Florence, Italy, and the 14th century celadon bowl owned by the last Empress of Vietnam. For more information please visit bid.gwsauctions.com.

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